President Godluck Jonahan of Nigeria recently signed the country’s 2014 Pension Reform Bill into law. The new law which will govern and regulate the administration of a uniform pension scheme for Nigeria’s public and private sector is historic for pension reform in the country. The law repeals the Pension Reform Act of 2004.
Highlights of the law include the institutionalization of criminal proceedings against employers for persistent refusal to remit pension contributions. The 2014 law also empowers PenCom to institute criminal proceedings against employers who fail to deduct and remit their employees pension contributions within the stipulated time.
Specifically the law stipulates that “persons who mismanage pension fund will be liable on conviction to not less than 10 years imprisonment or fine of an amount equal to three-times the amount so misappropriated or diverted or both imprisonment and fine”. Other crucial revisions in the new law include revisions to the clause on Access to Benefits in the Event of Loss of Job. The Pension Reform Act 2014 has reduced the waiting period for accessing benefits in the event of loss of job by employees from six (6) months to four (4) months.
This is done in order to identify with the yearning of contributors and labour. The new law has broad implications for pension disbursements to citizens of Africa’s largest economy including improved workers’ rights and benefits for retirees.